Sites and Policies Plan Consultation Draft

Comment ID 1018753//8
Document Section Sites and Policies Plan Consultation Draft Living within Environmental Limits DM19 View all on this section
Respondent Amanda Grundy View all by this respondent
Response Date 19 Apr 2013

DM19 Green infrastructure – we broadly welcome this policy but advise the principles and requirements for GI should feature throughout the Plan to better reflect its multi-functional and cross-cutting nature. We would expect green infrastructure requirements to feature strongly in the Place Making policies.

We also advise the Council to consider preparing a green infrastructure strategy as this would provide an opportunity to identify a strategic GI framework for North Somerset that reflects and responds to the built and natural environment recognises and supports ecosystems services and contributes positively to the wider green network. It could also help inform the next stages of the Plan preparation and provide guidance to individual developments to encourage and enable a coordinated and consistent approach to be taken to GI provision and management, both within and beyond the district boundary.

NPPF also identifies a need to plan for biodiversity at a landscape scale across administrative boundaries, requiring local authorities to:-

? identify and map components of the local ecological networks, including the hierarchy of international, national and locally designated sites of importance for biodiversity, wildlife corridors and stepping stones that connect them and areas identified by local partnerships for habitat restoration or creation

? promote the preservation, restoration and re-creation of priority habitats, ecological networks and the protection and recovery of priority species populations, linked to national and local targets; and identify suitable indicators for monitoring biodiversity in the plan

? aim to prevent harm to geological conservation interests; and

? where Nature Improvement Areas are identified in Local Plans, consider specifying the types of development that may be appropriate in these Areas

There is considerable existing evidence and guidance available to the Council that is likely to be relevant to green infrastructure planning. This includes local biodiversity action plans, the Rights of Way Improvement Plan, town/landscape assessments, and Historic Environment Records. Natural England would be pleased to provide further information on designated sites and landscapes if this is not already available to the Council.